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The St. Louis Cardinals have struggled to score runs of late but at least have the momentum of a victory entering Saturday’s game against the visiting Chicago Cubs. The Cardinals ended Ryan Dempster’s 33-inning scoreless streak in a 4-1 victory in the series opener for just their second win in seven games since the All-Star break. St. Louis has tallied just 19 runs since play resumed with Friday’s output representing its highest run single-game total.
Chicago has won six of eight games and is 14-6 over its last 20 contests. However, the series-opening defeat continues a recent pattern of ineptitude in St. Louis. The Cubs are just 4-11 in their last 15 games at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals are five games behind the first-place Cincinnati Reds in the National League Central. Catcher Yadier Molina is batting .333 with 11 RBIs in nine games against Chicago this season.
Cubs Cardinals Betting
When: 7:15 PM ET, Saturday, July 21, 2012
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
TV: 7:15 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet (Chicago), Fox Sports Midwest (St.Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Matt Garza (5-7, 4.02 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Jake Westbrook (7-8, 3.82)
Garza threw seven innings of five-hit shutout ball while beating the Arizona Diamondbacks in his last start. He is 2-6 with a 5.67 ERA and has allowed 14 homers in 10 road starts. Garza took a no-decision against St. Louis on April 23 despite allowing just two runs and four hits in seven innings. He is 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA in five career starts against the Cardinals.
Westbrook has lost back-to-back starts after winning his previous three decisions. He allowed four runs and nine hits in 7 1/3 innings while losing to the Cincinnati Reds in his last outing. Westbrook is 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts against Chicago this season. He has a 4-2 record and 4.89 ERA in seven career starts against the Cubs.
1. St. Louis OF Jon Jay (shoulder) was held out of the series opener and is just 2-for-20 since the All-Star break.
2. Cubs OF Alfonso Soriano is just 3-for-27 against Westbrook.
3. Cardinals INF/OF Skip Schumaker is 6-for-11 against Garza and is batting .444 (12-for-27) since July 4.